The anticipation was palpable as the Institute of Culinary Arts welcomed its 1st-year intake for the class of 2024.

A cohort of aspiring chef students, armed with passion and ambition, has just embarked on a culinary journey that promises to challenge and reward, develop and equip professional chefs for the future.

As these budding chefs step into the kitchens of the ICA – where the majority of SA’s BEST chefs received their formal training – they are not merely joining a culinary school; they are becoming part of a legacy that spans generations of culinary icons.

The curriculum for the 1st-year students is meticulously crafted to provide a comprehensive foundation in the culinary arts. From mastering the intricacies of professional knife skills to understanding the alchemy of flavours, these students will undergo a rigorous and in-depth training program with an average lecturer-to-student ratio of 1:6, providing hands-on, individual attention and one-on-one tutoring that is imperative to training excellence.

The ICA chef school is not just about teaching students how to cook; we nurture creativity and instil a deep appreciation for culinary sustainability and the cultural tapestry woven into every dish. This is how ICA graduates set benchmarks, lead the industry and shine on international stages. As is custom, this year’s intake will also have the opportunity to explore diverse cuisines, develop and refine their palates and explore traditional and modernist cooking methods. Moreover, they will also engage with renowned chefs who will serve as their mentors during their carefully selected industry placement blocks.

When the new 1st-year students don their chef uniforms, a sense of expectation and optimism emerges. They are not just students. They are ICA students. They are embarking on a culinary journey taken by the best of the best, following in the footsteps of legends, and setting out on a path to leave a long-lasting impact on the world of gastronomy.

A new journey has just begun, their potential being unlocked one lecture, practical session and plate at a time.